The love story of Damon and Elena is filled with lots of obstacles, but although it is hard and often painful to deal with them, none of those have the ability to end Delena’s mutual love; DE survive everything and can never be separated for long.
1. the sire bond
We already wrote so much about that, so that I will only shortly repeat the basics (if you want more details, you can check out others of my articles): The sire bond doesn’t have any influence on feelings, while those are even required for the creation of one. Damon didn’t order Elena to love him, he even tried to fix Stelena’s relationship, and Elena took her time before "switching" brothers; she could even "cheese around" much with Stefan in her early time as a vampire. Elena can still disagree and argue with Damon, and even when she has to do what he tells her to, she always knows what she wants. Elena is still full of love and compassion for the others, she still loves Stefan, so that her feelings for others are not taken from her, and Elena declared that she is in love with Damon (and not with Stefan), when she was compelled to tell the truth.
It is so typical for TVD to give away Elena’s love for Damon to be real right at the start like this, before those facts aren’t discussed again, to make people doubt and create angst, although the truth is clear from the beginning. Every expert agrees on the "sire bond rules", and no other experience has ever been made. And re-watching the beautiful and moving Delena relationship moments (what I permanently do these months) would lose their meaning if Elena’s feelings would turn out to be fake – I also can’t imagine SE fans watching them more if they would be fake, and we DE fans and the neutral viewers would be negatively affected by such a revelation.
2. the plans of life
I am still sure that Damon misses being human, you don’t suddenly change your opinion to the complete contrary. There has to be a reason why there was such a difference between Damon’s attitude in the books and in the show; it makes no sense to turn the book-Damon who despises human beings and being human to the show-Damon that tearfully admitted missing being human "more than anything in the world", only to turn him back to a Damon who thinks of being human as the most "miserable on earth"-thing. And you only have to look at Damon’s face and the tears in his eyes, in the scene when Elena kind of proposes to him, to see that he doesn’t mean that. Damon is only afraid and insecure (if you are interested, I wrote an article that deals with the reasons behind his reactions in that scene in detail), but Elena knows and understands how Damon "works" and declared that she will continue fighting for their love and won’t let him ruin their relationship.
But Elena has after Jeremy’s death less reason to become human again herself, and she – thanks to Damon – can control herself and found a very good way to exist as a vampire.
And Damon also wouldn’t mind being with Elena if she was in her 90’s or something like that, they both wouldn’t have a problem with others thinking that they look weird together. Damon doesn’t care WHAT Elena is, because he loves WHO she is, and she also loves him for himself.
Delena tried everything, but it is just not possible for them to be without the other, and although I hope that they will end up together in the same form of being, things will work out for them in any case. Most of us, and also I myself, would choose to be together as vampires eternally, but I get the impression that DE would choose to grow old together as human beings. I personally would want Delena to become humans, start a family, and when their children have a certain age (and DE are not too old), I would like Delena to become vampires again, through each other’s blood that they have to put aside while they are still vampires, so that they can spend the eternity together. I know that this idea has too much of a "fairy tale" to fit for TVD, but I want DE babies AND the "always and forever". But also as vampires, they could adopt and give love and a home to lonely children in need. Elena is adopted herself, and she is also an orphan, so that she knows how it is to have no family members, and she experienced herself how loved you can be as a "non-biological" child.
And this obstacle would also be an issue between Elena and Stefan, with only one dose of the cure – that Elena doesn’t even have yet. But anyway, love doesn’t change because of convenience; you can’t decide who you love, love doesn’t care about what would be easier. Elena loves, wants and chooses Damon, she has never wanted to share her future with anybody else, she needs excitement in her life, Delena have their own version of a "normal" life together, and Damon fits perfectly for Elena in all of this. Damon and Elena both think about their future together, what shows that they really want their relationship to work out and themselves to stay together forever. Elena has never known what she wanted from life, she has not known what love was, and she has refused to discuss a future together with anybody, until she found her true love, Damon; and now, Elena is absolute sure about what she feels, she is completely certain that she loves Damon and always will, and she wants to be with him eternally, a real and heavy commitment.
3. Damon skrewing up
Damon "lashes out" less often and less extreme, and DE already got through much of Damon skrewing things up, while nothing could ever destroy their love. Elena knows the reasons behind Damon’s actions and understands how he tries to push her away, and she won’t allow him to ruin things, like her loyalty will never allow her to give up on him and them. Elena knows that Damon covers being hurt with anger, that he shows that he cares about others with being mean, and that it is easier for him to be hated. But Elena already fought for her friendship with Damon, and she will now continue fighting for their true love, with Damon in his best version, with them finally being together, and because she understands what Damon’s actions mean.
4. vampire Elena and human Elena
Elena already fell in love with Damon in the first three seasons. But she was inexperienced and afraid; Elena had never experienced with anybody what she has with Damon, she was scared by the passion and the consuming feelings between them, and she feared Damon’s actions before he started to control himself. But now, Elena has gained more experience, realized how much Damon changed for and because of her, and got an impression of how well their relationship works out. Elena has had an incomplete knowledge, until she remembered and found out more of Damon’s goodness and unselfishness (that he made her forget about his love confession and didn’t tell her that they met first, to make it easier for her; that he selflessly stayed for her and supported her, after he wasn’t chosen, and kept his pain unselfishly to himself, while suffering during watching SE; "He’s always been there for me when I needed him.", etc.), and now, she knows all of that and chooses Damon, while having ALL of the information. Elena has suppressed her feelings for Damon for a very long time, and now, she experienced the explosion of those, and she can never deny these emotions again. And Elena herself admitted having these feelings for Damon before she turned, they are needed to create the sire bond, and they were already obvious and consuming before Season 4. Now, Elena experienced how great Damon’s plans are, and that their relationship works out, Delena created more between them than there has already been before, they got an impression of them being together, and they allowed themselves to be consumed by their mutual true love. Elena saw more of Damon’s selflessness and goodness, DE experienced absolute happiness together (because of each other), and they saw how fitting they are for one another. Delena’s love is unconditionally, they love each other for whom they really are, they have already loved each other as they have been different kind of beings, and they will always love the other "either way". And Elena describes her reasons for loving Damon and for wanting to be with him forever perfectly understandable. Elena grew and grew up, there is no way back, and she now has a mature love and relationship with Damon.
It is clear that human Elena is like vampire Elena (she is only grown and maturer now, she has NOT changed completely) and that she will still love Damon as a human being, but this discussion is kept in the story and in the promotion to create angst and keep up the suspense. But the story always led to Damon and Elena ending up together. DE were already close to getting together before Elena became a vampire, her decision for Stefan was hard (and although it was understandable by what I just described, it was wrong, and it haunted her until she made the right choice), Delena got already VERY close in the motel (we can never know how far it would have gone without Jeremy interrupting), and DE carefully built the foundation for their relationship. Delena already have had friendship ("I’m your friend, Damon.", "Elena is a very good friend.", …), trust ("Do you trust me?" – "Yes.", …), understanding ("You and I, we have something. An understanding.", …), a deep connection and so many other things before Elena turned, they already relied on one another and were very much alike. DE have gotten constantly closer throughout the whole story, and although Elena becoming a vampire (with stronger emotions and less control) and the sire bond (finding out how well Damon’s plans work out) also helped, the biggest "something that changed between Damon and Elena" happened while Stefan was gone; but all of that only sped things up a little bit, nothing ever changed the direction of the story. Delena have a long journey, with a slow and careful build up in detail. But when Stefan was finally back with them, they all realized what had changed during his absence. DE got even closer while they fought to get Stefan back, while they trusted each other and relied on one another, and they kept that up even after Stefan was back – with Elena for example still asking Damon for help instead of Stefan.
But Elena choosing Stefan first also made it possible that both brothers got the chance to prove themselves when they weren’t chosen, what Damon mastered WAY better than Stefan, it was another delay and created more angst, it allowed Stelena’s relationship to come to a natural end, it helped everybody to realize how much things have really changed in the triangle, and it showed that no doubt is left that Elena belongs with Damon (because we saw the other option not working out [and DE didn’t only get together because Stefan left at the beginning of Season 3 like this]). And now, Damon and Elena have their own relationship history, they became a couple and went through several sweet and moving relationship steps together, what brought them even closer and can’t be taken from them again. I like the following description of what happened in the show concerning Delena: S1: Damon falling in love with Elena, S2: Damon realizing that he is in love with Elena and admitting it, S3: Elena completing falling in love with Damon, S4: Elena realizing that she is in love with Damon and admitting it.
There is no real threat for DE’s relationship, they always overcome all obstacles, and with each mastered problem, they only get closer, their connection stronger and their love deeper.
On the other hand, SE is over for good, there is no way back. Stelena keep secrets from each other and their obstacles ruined them, while Delena keep secrets together and their obstacles only bring them closer. SE can be only used as a fake threat from now on, with only words (with nothing behind those) and with what Elena’s friends want. But Elena is not in love with Stefan anymore, she fell out of love with him, but hearing what other people say and being compared to Stefan, increases Damon’s insecurities. While Elena was with Stefan, she always had the yearning for each other with Damon, and now that Elena is with Damon, Stefan is used as a fake menace to increase Damon’s insecurities (and with the sire bond and other postponements and problems, DE are still the longing and resisting couple of the story).
While Stelena were together, we were given hints that Delena would one day end up together, but it has also been shown that it wasn’t the right time for that back then. DE had both to complete their shared as well as their individual development, Damon had to find control and become the best version of himself, while Elena had to grow up and find out everything that was kept from her. Elena has never moved back and forth between the two brothers, she has fought her feelings for Damon for a VERY long time before giving in to their true love, and she will now stick to him with the same loyalty and stubbornness. Damon and Elena have never cheated on Stefan; their chemistry and yearning, the dreams, visions and hallucinations about Delena together, all of the things that were given to us DE fans to help us get over the waiting time, were no betrayal of Stefan, and the intensity of the looks and touches between Delena were also not meant to betray Stefan. The kiss in 3x10 and the make-out in 3x19 happened during SE pauses, and Stefan knew about those, and DE fought and resisted, while longing for each other and getting constantly closer. Damon and Elena both love Stefan, they did everything right, and Elena has never been with both at the same time. Elena needed the safety with Stefan after her parents’ death, before she realized that Damon is her true love, and they fought and resisted very long, until they at last gave into that love; and now, they will stick to their mutual true love for good. There was only created the impression that Elena "switched around" permanently, but – except for a really short phase late in Season 3 – she has never considered both brothers as serious options at the same time, and she has always been faithful and tried to do the right thing. Delena got together AFTER Stelena broke up, they did nothing wrong, and Elena will now stick restlessly to Damon.
Elena has much loyalty; she fought to get Stefan back with them, even while he was aweful to her, and she gave their relationship chance over chance until she couldn’t ignore anymore that it was totally over; Stelena denied the truth and went on pretending for a long time, but their bubble at last blew up. And Elena fought for her friendship with Damon and the goodness inside of him, even before he started showing it, and she will now continue fighting for their true love and their relationship, especially with Damon in his best version after he improved for and because of her. That is perfect for both of them, because Damon needs somebody who sees behind what he shows to the world, who loves him for himself and who doesn’t allow him to skrew up, while it is an interesting task for Elena to deal with Damon, and she can be herself around him. Elena is a very loyal, strong and stubborn person, she enjoys helping others, and she needs excitement in her life, so that Damon fits perfectly to her. Elena has always been kind of dark and wild, and she has still her loyalty and compassion now, so that she is not totally different, but Damon caused her to grow and grow up, so that we now have the maturest, happiest and most alive version of her (her true grown up self). And Damon already had his selflessness and honesty in his dark phase, and he is now still sarcastic, dark and direct, but he acts on his goodness now because of Elena, and he is also happiest with her (he reached his true self, too).
And there are still always the hints and parallels in the story, and how DE fit perfectly for every description, whenever something is said about love, or how Damon is exactly what is said about what Elena wants and needs. Just compare Delena’s kisses, make-outs, sex, dancing, carrying etc. to similar scenes of other couples, look at how in detail already DE only looking at and touching each other is portrayed, or how long and close their hugs are shown, and imagine the time and work that has to be put into the creation of such scenes. The focus of the story clearly lies on Delena, their love story is so special and unique, and they are undoubtedly THE couple of TVD.
And there is also an emphasis on Damon’s pain, his suffering is shown in detail (and Ian Somerhalder, with the best ability of facial expression ever, has an enormous talent to let the audience feel the pain that he portrays). Damon is tortured and turned down much more often than anybody else in the story, he is permanently told how much better Stefan is, that he can’t be loved and that he will end up alone and in misery, and he had to watch SE for a very long time. Stefan on the other hand is supported by almost everybody around them (Damon only has Elena), is the better brother for almost everybody inside the story (only Elena loves both – and chooses Damon, and she knows by far most about Damon of everybody around them), and Stefan hasn’t even seen much of Delena together (he was gone during the "happy phase", wasn’t at the lake, separated DE [because of Kol’s compulsion] the first moment that he was with both of them together, entered the house AFTER the Delena hug, DE were not close together while everybody walked across the island, Stefan wasn’t around in the intimate Delena moments on the island, DE were apart again afterwards). Stefan only saw Damon holding Elena when Damon told her to turn off her humanity, but that was an absolute non-sexual moment and everybody had his or her thoughts on the sad situation (only we Delena fans always notice Damon holding Elena, no matter the circumstances). There will probably come the time for Stefan to see more of DE’s relationship, but that will still be nothing compared to what Damon had to endure, with Katherine and with Elena, about his brother. I realize that Stefan was hurt by what he heard during the "detention", but Damon wasn’t there, no sexual details were discussed, and Stefan wasn’t insulted. But Stefan really needed to hear the truth and accept it, and that he slept with the initiator of that whole conversation so shortly afterwards, shows that it didn’t devastate him completely.
And compare the rational talk during the Stelena break-up to the emotional and tearful phone call when Elena let Damon go at the end of Season 3. That shows what effects Elena most as well as what couple gets the more intense and moving scenes. And with an incomplete knowledge, and before her development was completed, Elena barely didn’t choose Damon, while she now, grown, grown up, with all necessary information and also a relationship history with Damon now, is UNDOUBTEDLY and COMPLETELY sure that she loves Damon and wants to be with him forever.
So, all of the obstacles and delays are no real threat for Delena’s relationship, they only cause them to get even closer and show that they are THE couple of the story. DE’s suffering and heartache is so painful to watch, but it makes them deserve their happy ending even more. There is an emphasis on Damon’s pain, and the suspense and the angst are kept, but Elena’s love for Damon is real, she will stick to him and fight for their relationship, and the story leads to the desperately needed and truly deserved Delena endgame.